Car Reviews Reviews

Datsun redi-GO 1.0L: Test Drive Review

Written by Parichay Malvankar

Datsun is now 3 years old in the Indian market, and they’ve launched a new car every year since 2014. That makes 3 products in their showrooms till now which includes the Go, Go+ & redi-GO. For 2017, Datsun is bringing a powerful version of the redi-GO. It was about time since this happened as the sibling from their alliance partner, the Renault Kwid got this engine almost a year back. Dubbed as the ‘Datsun redi-Go 1.0L Power Drive’, bookings are now open for this model for INR 10,000.

So, there is no major change in the exterior design. The redi-GO 1.0L continues without any structural changes and has the same urban cross styling as it’s 800cc version. Save for the new 1.0L badge on the bootlid, there is nothing new to talk about this version on the exterior styling department.

The 1.0L variant is available only in the top T(O) & S variants; so it comes with clear headlamps with silver accents, chrome front grille with honeycomb mesh design, body coloured front & rear bumpers, LED DRLs, black ORVMs, body coloured door handles, blacked B-pillar, 13″ wheels with wheel cover and a radio antenna. Now we’re not sure if the blackened lower lip of the front bumper on the cars we had on the drive is a part of the standard kit.

The 1.0L variant is available in 5 colour options – silver, grey, red, green & white.

Maximum change on the redi-GO 1.0L comes on the inside. This powerful variant gets the better looking all-black cabin, and honestly, it looks far superior to the grey trim on the 800cc version. You also get silver accents on the steering wheel and around the AC vents which breaks the monotony pretty well.

Everything else inside, remains the same.

You have a 3-spoke steering wheel, analogue speedo console with a small digital display showing you data such as digital tachometer, fuel economy, DTE, trip meter, AC & heater, piano black finish on the centre console, black seats, folding rear seats, basic audio system with 2 front speakers, remote key, and everything else that was already there.

Space inside the redi-GO, thanks to the tall boy design is very good. Compared to segment standards, the redi-GO is very comfortable with enough room for 4 occupants. Seating 5 is a squeeze, but it can make do. While it is easy to find the perfect driving space in this entry-level hatchback, even the rear seat has enough legroom for occupants.

Talk about boot space, the redi-GO has 222-litres of it. So it can gulp almost 3 medium sized bags.

Engine, performance & handling:
The previous redi-GO was powered by a 800cc engine. But this new ‘Power Drive’ version now comes with a 1.0L engine which the brand terms as ‘i-SAT’ which stands for Intelligent Spark Automated Technology. This system automates the engine response based on your throttle input.

This 1.0L i-SAT motor is a 999cc block producing 68 PS of power @ 5,500 RPM and 91 Nm of torque @ 4,250 RPM matched to a 5-speed manual gearbox. Datsun claims that this motor can deliver up to 22.5 kmpl of mileage.

From the moment you start driving, the 1.0L version feels much more peppy. The engine has more grunt than the standard 800cc model and you do feel the extra power. Now, just 13 PS more won’t sound too much of a gain, but it does seem to have made a difference. Also, the engine now revvs a little more smoother than before with the throttle input resulting in noticeable momentum. The 800cc engine on the other hand did feel a bit strained when pushed hard, or was carrying a full load of occupants. The new 1.0L Power Drive also demands for lesser downshifts, especially when you want to accelerate away from traffic. So the new i-SAT system is pretty effective we must say.

There’s not much of a difference in the NVH department with the engine noise noticeably creeping in when pushed hard. Even the gearbox could have been better.

The redi-GO comes with 185mm of ground clearance, which makes it super easy to be driven over not only our broken roads, but even over rough patches without having to worry about scraping the bottom. Even with 4 up, the redi-Go will rarely scrape over a speed bump. With the slightly stiff sprung suspension setup, ride quality is decent, and rather fun when you wish to drive a little faster making the best use of the bigger motor.

Brakes are decent, but still, there is no addition of ABS on the redi-GO. On the safety front, you only get a driver airbag and few other basics such as engine immobiliser, 3-point seat belt, etc.

So, does the redi-GO have enough GO? It depends on what you’re looking for in a car. This here delivers on space, and a peppy motor. But the feature list is not as extensive, compared to the Renault Kwid. But then, the redi-GO is expected to come at lower prices too. Launch is still a week away, so prices would put a perfect end to this verdict…